A PLAN to create extra rooms at a popular pub on green belt land in Alvechurch has been approved.

An application was submitted to Bromsgrove District Council by Philip Meads to build an additional 12 bedrooms at The Coach and Horses in Weatheroak Hill.

The proposals would provide more space for overnight guests and facilitate plans to open the inn for breakfasts and brunches which are in demand by customers including those visiting the NEC.

The plans have been largely supported with many residents seeing the traditional tavern as a key part of the community although others wanted more details about the proposals.

Resident Niki French said: “I cannot support the application for 12 additional bedrooms as it has been submitted as I do not believe the application has enough details to make it a viable option.

“As a resident of Weatheroak I support the proposal to improve the business of The Coach and Horses as a key part of our community, but I cannot see how adding bedroom will provide certainty of an income stream.”

Shell and Bob Dale added: “We support any plan which will provide the business with a future and which will safeguard its reputation and character as a country pub specialising in real ales and meals at reasonable prices.

“However, we would take issue with this application as the way to secure the future of The Coach and Horses. The proposal is a very high financial risk.”

Despite being on green belt land, the applicants plan to keep the existing building largely unchanged and use materials sympathetic to the street scene whilst protecting trees in the Landscape Protection Area.

The plans will also see new jobs created as well as an additional 12 car parking spaces and more provision for disabled customers.

The application has now been fully approved by Bromsgrove District Council.

In the approval notice, the head of planning, regeneration and leisure service said: “The building, the subject of this permission, shall be used only for purposes ancillary to the Public House currently known as The coach and Horses and shall not be used for any other purpose.

“This is to safeguard the purposes and characteristics of the Green Belt and to safeguard the amenities of the area and neighbouring occupiers.”